School may be out for summer, but at the Eastman School of Music there is still a lot to do. WXXI’s Sarah Tembeckjian explores the scene, and specifically one program that makes music combining Eastman faculty with the Rochester community:
If you walk into the Eastman School of Music on a Tuesday evening, you might find students playing in the practice rooms, or teachers revising music scores for tomorrow’s rehearsal.
But open the door to Kilbourn Hall, and you’ll hear a choir of local singers and professional musicians making music together in harmony.
It’s part of a program called Eastman’s Summer Sings, which brings together faculty and community members to sing celebrated classical repertoire. On one day in July, Professor Bill Weinert led the group in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, a popular oratorio from the mid-19th century.
The chorus had a mix of participants: some were newcomers, while others were more experienced musicians. Not everyone is a vocalist in the group, and that’s ok. In fact, the diversity is welcomed.
“Because all the community choirs shut down in terms of performance, this is a good outlet for them during the summer. People who come tend to be more experienced singers. There always are a handful of people who come to listen. You know, you always look out there and kind of hope that everybody was getting in there, and giving it a shot, Weinert explained.”
For those in the group without prior vocal training, the environment still proved to be engaging and enjoyable .
“This is really something, just for the joy of singing a piece like Elijah. And just the idea of having the accompaniment and the soloists and the conductor, all together in one place… it doesn’t happen very often, said Soloist Camila Ospinafadul ”
The Summer Sing program continues throughout July. You can visit the Eastman website for more information on upcoming performances.